Primary schoolchildren are frequently shielded from education on sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases in an effort to protect their innocence. In countries like South Africa, where AIDS is particularly widespread, it is especially important to address prevention with younger boys and girls as active social agents with the capacity to engage with AIDS as gendered and sexual beings. This volume addresses the question of children’s understanding of AIDS, not simply in terms of their dependence but as active participants in the interpretation of their social worlds.
The volume draws on an interview and ethnographic based study of young children in two socially diverse South African primary schools, as well as interviews conducted with teachers and mothers of young children. It shows how adults sustain the production of childhood sexual innocence, and the importance of scaling up programs in AIDS intervention, gender and sexuality. It makes significant contributions to the global debate around childhood sexualities, gender and AIDS education.
Table of Contents
1. The Price of Innocence in the Time of AIDS 2. AIDS, Sex, and Disease: How Much Do Boys and Girls Know? 3. AIDS and Stigma: Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality and Inequalities in Children’s Response to Disease 4. "AIDS Is Rape!" Gender and Sexuality in Children’s Responses to AIDS 5. AIDS and Age: Children Negotiating and Resisting Sexual Knowledge 6. AIDS, Not Sex! Teaching Innocence 7. True for All Mothers? Normalising Childhood Innocence 8. To Fight Against AID S, Put Children First: Rethinking Boys, Girls and Childhood Sexuality
Deevia Bhana is Professor in the School of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.